We’ve had the rain can we now get back to sunshine! Cereals are generally looking well, some areas were suffering from moisture stress but the rain arrived in time for the majority of crops.

Disease levels have been low all season and wheat is relatively clean to the bottom leaves. Many canopies are more open than normal so the lower leaves will provide a useful contribution towards final yield.

From the roadside far to many fields are showing damaging levels of sterile brome and not only in non inversion systems. The bad patches should be mapped and treated at every opportunity. Low levels are easily rouged before the patches develop.

Oilseed rape crops look relatively even across the field. Canopies are shorter than normal which will make dessication and combining easier. 

I’m finding more pod damage from seed weevils grubs and also pod midge larvae. There is renewed interest in the use of pod sealants being applied with the glyphosate.

Spring barley was also damaged to a greater extent this year by cereal leaf beetle grubs. Aphids can be seen on crop leaves but as yet I’m seeing very few in wheat ears.

From recent field trials visits there are a few new wheat varieties coming through the system. Beluga and Cassius will suit our distilling market and Invicta will cover both biscuit making and distilling. Scout is a biscuit type but not for distilling. Agronomic characteristics vary but sprouting and low specific weights mean some new ones are not necessarily a big step forwards.

With June being so dry the heavier soils are showing extensive vertical cracking which must help rectify compaction damage. We’ve started the last three harvests with wet soil which causes most of the subsequent cultivation problems, how nice it would be to have dry soils this year!